ACHN Partners With Janssen

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ACHN Collaboration With Janssen For Hepatitis C

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACHN)

ACHN shares soared in after-hours trading Tuesday, May 19 after the company received a patent  for its hepatitis C drug ACH-3102.  Achillion will be also be collaborating with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Following the announcement, shares were halted until 4:35 after the market close. Shares closed at $10.68 and gapped up to $12.70 (+16%) following the news to then fall 4%.

Collaboration

The President and CEO of Achillion Pharmaceuticals stated “we believe that Janssen’s renowned expertise in HCV development and commercialization enables a synergistic opportunity to rapidly advance our combined HCV assets toward the market while simultaneously achieving an optimized treatment regimen for all HCV patients.”

According to the company’s website, Achillion is advancing a second generation NS5A inhibitor, ACH-3102, a potent inhibitor of HCV NS5A that demonstrates pico-molar potency, pan-genotypic activity, and an enhanced resistance profile compared to first-generation NS5A inhibitors. Achillion is also advancing the once-daily Phase 2 NS3/4A protease inhibitor sovaprevir. The company has discovered a novel nucleotide NS5B polymerase inhibitor, ACH-3422.

They have also advanced a novel platform for the advancement of small molecule complement  for the treatment of complement-related diseases. Each of these programs were discovered through Achillion’s own proprietary internal drug discovery efforts.

The deal with Janssen includes a $225 M investment for $18.4 million newly issued unregistered shares at $12.25.

Performance

As you can see in the chart below, over the past year, ACHN shares have been on fire going from a low of $2.65 in May 2014 to a high of $16.87 on December 22 2014.  On that day, shares were up $2.33 to a new high of $16.87, or (+14%) from the previous day.

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On February 9th of this year, shares jumped sharply 12% to $12.08 following news of ACHN’s Phase 2 Trial achieving primary endpoint.

Some of ACHN’s competitors include Glaxo Smith Kline (NYSE: GSK) and Roche Holdings (OTCBB: RHHBY).

Deutsche Bank maintains their BUY rating for ACHN with a price target of $20.

About ACHN

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes anti-infective drug therapies in the United States and internationally. It focuses on developing combination therapies for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection and drug-resistant bacterial infections. The company’s drug candidates for treating chronic HCV infection comprise ACH-3102, a NS5A inhibitor, which completed Phase IIa clinical trials; ACH-3422, a NS5B nucleotide polymerase inhibitor that is in Phase I clinical development; and Sovaprevir, a NS3 protease inhibitor, which completed Phase II clinical trial. It has a license and development agreement with Ora, Inc. for the development and commercialization of ACH-702, an antibacterial drug candidate that is delivered topically or locally. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut. –Yahoo! Finance

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